Petteys Collection of Women Artists
The Petteys Collection of Women Artists consists of fifty works by nineteenth and twentieth century artists including Mary Cassatt, Käthe Kollwitz, Elizabeth Catlett, Louise Nevelson, and Claude Raguet Hirst among others. It is a stylistically diverse and wide ranging collection that encompasses drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, and photography.
Beginning in the 1970s, Chris Petteys established herself as an authority on women artists. With the support of her husband Robert she acquired art and conducted extensive research, publishing a Dictionary of Women Artists Before 1900 (1986). The Dictionary was notable as the first attempt at such a comprehensive project since Clara Erskine Clement’s 1904 volume Women in the Fine Arts, and for the fact that she researched and wrote the book from her home in Sterling, Colorado. Petteys also served as a founding member of the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) in Washington D.C.
The Petteys Collection of Women Artists is held in Special Collections Michener Library, along with her papers with include her notes and materials for the Dictionary of Women Artists Before 1900.
—Dr. Kiki Gilderhus